The FBI arrested 16 individuals and executed 35 search warrants in connection with Anonymous’ DDoS attack against PayPal. Anonymous launched the attack to avenge PayPal’s suspension of WikiLeaks’ accounts, which prevented donations to the free information cause.
The FBI has executed 35 search warrants and arrested 16 individuals alleged to be part of the Anonymous hacktivist collective. Meanwhile, those Wall Street banks and investors responsible for the mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps that triggered the 2008 economic meltdown roam free.
The arrests are related to the Anonymous DDoS attack against PayPal as part of “Operation: Avenge Assange” after the e-commerce corporation suspended the WikiLeaks PayPal account that had allowed individuals to donate to the free information cause.
The FBI press release states:
The 14 individuals were arrested in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio on charges contained in an indictment unsealed today in the Northern District of California in San Jose. In addition, two individuals were arrested on similar charges in two separate complaints filed in the Middle District of Florida and the District of New Jersey.
35 search warrants were executed in connection with the FBI investigation, and, according to the FBI, “The defendants are charged with various counts of conspiracy and intentional damage to a protected computer. They will make initial appearances throughout the day in the districts in which they were arrested.”
The FBI states that the operations were conducted in cooperation with the Metropolitan Police Service in the United Kingdom and the Dutch National Police Agency.
The Metropolitical Police Service issued a press release stating that a 16 year old South London teenager allegedly breached “the Computer Misuse Act 1990.” The Daily Mail reported that, “The London teen is thought to be connected to LulzSec, according to a UK official familiar with the investigation.” Fox News is reporting that the teen is a hacker who goes by the name of Tflow. No word yet on whether this has actually been confirmed.
Will the FBI arrests and search warrants act as a deterrent? That remains to be seen. Seeing as how the alleged former Anonymous members are not so Anonymous now, and that Anonymous can be anyone, it seems unlikely.
No official reply from Anonymous yet. Stay tuned.